Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
LG Signature OLED TV R launched at CES 2019

The Wrap – Big News, Big TVs, and the Biggest iPad

This week on The Wrap, it’s a big show packed with big gadgets. From the biggest iPad Pro to big TVs, a big camera, and the biggest news about how USB could change in a big way, this is a big show you won’t want to miss. All in five.

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For the last week of May 2021, you’re listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and this week, there’s big news and big reviews. Literally.

The stories this week are on items that are big, big, big, and yet we only have five minutes, which is a little amount of time, so let’s get stuck in. Starting with the big news in USB, a technology we all use all the time.

You use USB on your phone to charge it up, and you use USB for so much else. USB charging is on headphones, speakers, cameras, game controllers, and so much more, and may even be on your computer. Most laptops made in the past few years can take a USB Type C connection to charge from, and it may go beyond that very soon.

The folks behind USB have announced this week that it could soon sport up to 240 watts of power, meaning meaty laptops, select desktop computers like the iMac, and big monitors could soon take a USB cable to charge from. Right now, the limit is 100 watts, which means some big laptops can charge from USB, but this increase means that our world will be more USB friendly in the years to come.

TVs might not get there, mind you — they’re big and powerful, but they’ll probably be a different cable — and there are new models on the way. Sony showed off its new OLED TVs this week, not expected for a month or two, but it also has LED backlit TVs, too. We checked out the X90J this week, and it’s a nice screen, though it mightn’t be as nice as the crazy big screen LG announced recently.

Mind you, LG’s crazy big Signature R1 OLED isn’t that big — it’s 65 inches — but it comes with a positively massive price, asking for $130,000 when it launches in July.

You might be wondering what exactly makes a TV cost that much money, particularly when it’s not cinema-size. After all, the most expensive OLED right now is LG’s 88 inch Zed X, and it’s an 88 inch 8K screen for $72,000 dollars. The Signature R1 is smaller and yet almost twice the cost.

Well, to make it more expensive, LG is including technology no other TV has, because the R1 OLED rolls up. Think of it as a TV that can do a disappearing trick, rolling out from its stand and appearing before you, and then disappearing into its base when you don’t want it there. That trick will set you back a cool 130 Gs, making it the most expensive TV when it arrives in July.

We’re not even sure if this technology will trickle down, but OLED is getting less expensive overall, and you can find it on more TV choices this year, so much that it will start at a little past the 2K mark in Australia this year.

It’s not the only tech to trickle down to other models.

Epson’s work-focused EcoTank tech is coming to photo printers this year, with both an A3 and A4 model meaning photographers may not have to rely on printer cartridges and can instead opt for ink they just refill directly to the printer.

Panasonic is also trickling some of tech from its high-end movie cameras to models you can hold in your hand, announcing the Lumix GH5 Mark 2, which gets broadcast-like live wireless streaming for a camera with interchangeable lenses, and cinema-like video capture modes for 4K film-making.

And Snapchat — you know, the social media app — is connecting augmented reality to people more than ever, with AR there if you plan to shop using your phone in the near future. You might even be able to digitally wear clothing to see how it looks on you before you order.

We live in a crazy world where you don’t actually need to try something on to know how you look in it, and it’s a world where an iPad can cost almost the proverbial arm and a leg.

That’s what we’re checking out this week in our review, with the 12.9 inch iPad Pro being put through its paces, a seriously big tablet with a seriously big price. Starting from the $1600 mark for the 12.9 inch model and $1200 for the smaller 11 inch, these are serious tablets for people who need them.

But more than ever, the new iPad Pro is also kind of like a computer thanks to what’s inside. You see Apple is using the same chip from its MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro, and the new iMac, with the Apple M1 at the heart.

That makes it fast and capable, and there’s a hyper impressive Mini LED screen like from some of the new TVs in the 12.9 inch iPad Pro.

Yet what it doesn’t have is support for Mac apps. Even though the M1 Macs can run both Mac apps and iPad apps, you only get the latter on the iPad, and we think Apple needs to change that.

The new iPad Pro is so good and so powerful and so expensive, but you just need to be given the chance to decide how to use it the way you want to, because right now nothing really takes advantage of all that hardware.

Maybe Apple will change that at its Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC, in the coming days. We’ll know more when it does.

For now, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. A new episode can be found every week at Listnr, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Otherwise, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap, and take care.

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